Seattle Bucket List = BUCKETED

One of the items on the Seattle Bucket List my friends created for me is "Volunteer somewhere", so when I got the monthly email from Book Larder soliciting help at their upcoming events, I picked one I thought would be fun and signed on.

The Spilled Milk podcast is hilariously delightful, so I was obviously pumped to get to help out at the live birthday extravaganza. All I had to do was show up early to help set up chairs, pass out cake, and stay late to help put the chairs away/sweep the floor. Plus they gave me a $25 store credit! Score.

I've been reading Molly Wizenberg's blog for years and, I have to admit, I was a little bit starstruck. But I had just read these wise words and figured it wouldn't hurt to tell her how much I've appreciated her work over the years. So I used my store credit to get a copy of her first book, asked her to sign it, and proceeded to tell her that I'm a big fan.

And then the sweetest thing happened. She asked me about my pregnancy and our baby and how I've been feeling with such sincerity. She told me about her experience at the hospital where we're planning to deliver and told me decidedly, "You can do it." She was as cool in person as I imagined she'd be. 

So there you have it, friends. Bucket List, BUCKETED.

Seattle Bucket List = BUCKETED

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Dann started bugging me about getting a new passport so we could go to Vancouver while we were still technically living in Denver. He got to travel there last year on tour with Loud Harp and Josh Garrels, and he wanted me to get to see what a beautiful place it is. We spent this past weekend in Vancouver and Victoria and had the best time.

Traveling with Dann is one of my favorite things. He's really good at staying calm and problem solving and using something he called "the Fibonacci trick" to do miles to kilometers calculations in his head while driving. This trip made me even more excited to see him become a dad. He's going to be so good at it.

We visited Stanley Park, ate our first real Canadian poutine, rode the ferry (twice!), stayed at the Fairmont Empress, toured Craigdarroch Castle, and didn't have access to data on our mobile devices for most of the weekend, so we talked to each other and laughed a LOT.

I'm killing this Seattle Bucket List so far. Who's coming to my Macklemore dance party at the Space Needle??

*Also! Today marks six months since I arrived in Seattle, so I figured it was about time I start telling you about some of my favorite spots here. It's a short list right now, but I'm confident it will grow over time.

Seattle Bucket List = BUCKETED

So it was Black Friday and I went to add this goal of buying some kickass rainboots to my Go Mighty profile, and when I searched for a photo of Hunter boots, I ended up on Hunter's website and I found a great deal. So yes, I bought myself a pair of boots on Black Friday.

And today it's raining so I went out, found a puddle, and stomped around a little bit. And that, my friends, is how a bucket list gets BUCKETED. 

You Have To

Remember this scene from the first Sex And The City movie? It’s just after Carrie gets left at the altar, then takes her BFFs on the honeymoon to Mexico. At the end of the scene, Samantha wakes Carrie to tell her she has to eat some breakfast, then feeds her yogurt with a spoon. She doesn’t waver in her insistence, but she’s gentle and kind. Just says “You have to” and, in that, communicates all the love and concern she feels for her friend. I’m pretty sure I cried over this scene in the theater. I remember thinking “If I’m ever so deeply devastated that I need another adult to spoon-feed me, I hope my friends will be that stern and loving.”

It’s been a rough couple of months. Living in Seattle was a total thrill for the first month and a half. I was busy and excited and making plans and meeting people and feeling hopeful about this next phase of life. I felt pangs of homesickness, sure, but we had a few visitors lined up when we first got here, so there were little bits of home to look forward to for a while.

Then I got pregnant. And nauseous. In case you’ve never heard (because I don’t recall anyone ever telling me), the term “morning sickness” is sort of the most evil misnomer ever invented. I pictured having to puke occasionally in the morning, but then feeling better (like you normally do after you puke) for the rest of the day. I was legitimately constantly nauseous 24/7 for the better part of 3 months and it was rough. I don’t meant to complain, because I am thrilled to be fortunate enough to get pregnant and stay pregnant without any secondary interventions. But the physical toll the first trimester took on my body really messed with my mind. I had some dark days.

I found myself longing for the comforts of home - the things and people and places I’ve always known. When some of your favorite foods are simply not available (anyone know where to find good green chile or a good bagel sandwich in Seattle?), some of your best people are only available via some sort of device, and your mom and dad’s couch is 100% available but 1300 miles away, it’s hard to feel like everything’s going to be okay. It was hard to feel hopeful about much of anything, least of all my ability to tackle the transition to motherhood well. Sweet Dann endured the hardest days with more grace and patience and gentleness and kindness than I’ll ever deserve.

Luckily I’m learning not to be too shy about owning up to my anxiety and mental health needs, and with the help of some high quality albeit very new friends, I’ve found a therapist who is helping me navigate this transition to an almost entirely different life. In case I’ve never said it to your face, I believe time and money spent on good counseling is the best investment I’ve ever made. And I own Apple stock.

During a stretch of some of the hardest days, Dann and a couple of other people suggested that I take a trip back to Denver on my own and stay for a whole week. Since I don’t have a job or any other real commitments here, I agreed it was probably a good idea.

I ended up with nine days in Denver and it was so good. I got to stay with my parents and each of my sisters for a few nights. I got to eat all the food I’ve been craving but haven’t been able to find here in Seattle. I got to spend good, quality time with so many friends I’ve been missing, and you know what? They all figuratively fed me yogurt with a spoon and reminded me who I am.

On my last morning in Denver, I had breakfast at Snooze with my sis Kate and two of my besties, APK and Kimbo. While we were talking about ways for me to enjoy my time here in Seattle a bit more (until this baby comes, anyway - trust me I’m aware that everything’s going to change again come April), Kate straight-up said: “You have to leave your apartment for more than 30 minutes every day. And not when you and Dann have plans together. Like, you have to get out and do something on your own.” And that was our Samantha/Carrie moment. The moment she said “You have to” and I knew that I’d known it all along but needed someone outside of myself to look me sternly in the face and say it with love.

And then, in true servant-hearted fashion, APK said she was going to create a Seattle Bucket List for me. She knows (as do you, most likely) that I thrive when I have structure and clearly defined goals to tackle. She knows that there is a lot to do and see and experience here in Seattle, and she doesn’t want me to miss out. Her idea quickly evolved into an editable google doc shared with a few other friends as well, and I’m here today to share some of the craziness they came up with in order to help hold myself accountable. I’m really excited to get started on it (though I’ll probably wait to do the Space Needle/Macklemore stunt until I’m more obviously pregnant because OMG what a story to tell this babe when he or she is older).

Here are some of the highlights:

- Find and take a picture of Bachelorette Desiree and Chris or Jason and Molly (I'll give you $20) 

- Find Russell Wilson and tell him he ain't all that 

- Spend 10 minutes enjoying a view in the rain

- Kiss Dann in the rain. 

- Create a tradition with Charlie Festus

- Volunteer somewhere.

- Take a ferry ride (just like Derek from Grey’s Anatomy)

- Join a writing group (one that isn’t dark and twisty)

- Find and interview Howard Schultz (i’ll give you $20)

- Buy some kickass rainboots so you can stomp in puddles

- Ride the crystal mountain gondola to stare at Mt. Ranier

- Wave a pirate flag on the top of the space needle while listening to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

- Take the clipper to Victoria and to Vancouver! Get your Canada on girl!!

- Read a book at waterfall garden park

- Celebrity stalk Dave Matthews and take a selfie (i dont have 20$ but maybe whoever wants you to meet those fools from the bachelor can spot you a twenty for me :) 

 

C.S. Lewis wrote in The Four Loves: "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art...It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival." I was so deeply thankful to be reminded of this by my friends when I was in Denver, and I'm thankful today for their list of "You have to"s here in Seattle. Time to get to work!